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Built by the twins Gerrit and Frederick Braun, this is an art piece that stands out. It is a model railway consisting of 12,000 meters of track (the largest of its kind) divided into eight sections: Harz, the Alps, Austria, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia, Switzerland, the imaginary city of Knuffingen and the airport.
It has taken its makers over 500,000 hours to achieve such elaborate details. More than 900 trains measuring up to 14.5 meters travel hundreds of kilometers each day passing through the Alps, the countryside and many other landmarks. There are 5,500 cars displayed and over 200,000 human figures which take part in all sorts of activities: emergency vehicles rushing to the crime scene or to put out a fire, carnivals, police investigations, accidents and many other details of real life. There are many other features: the surprisingly realistic Las Vegas decorated with over 30,000 lights, a stadium crowded with people, the Rocky Mountains, the Saint Michaels church in Hamburg, zoo’s and harbors.
Along the sides of the Miniatur Wunderland there are 150 push button actions with which the visitors can interact with the life inside. Having this many attractions it needs a great deal of computers and people to watch over it and keep things in movement. There are also 200 cameras helping the staff supervise the whole thing.
It is a sure thing then that this is all about art. The dedication, attention to detail and imagination of its creators have turned a simple idea into a masterpiece. If you didn’t know its real scale wouldn’t you have thought it’s the real world?